Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith. Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, so that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, and he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations and collects to himself all peoples. Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, even mockery and insinuations against him and say, 'Woe to him who increases what is not his— for how long— and makes himself rich with loans?' Will not your creditors rise up suddenly, and those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them. Because you have looted many nations, all the remainder of the peoples will loot you— because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, to the town and all its inhabitants. Habakkuk 2:4-8
Here we have Habakkuk warning of problems that are coming to Israel because of choices – moral choices that they have made. His first warning is not about budgets or spending bills – rather it is a warning against pride and not being right with God. He warns about those who give themselves to drunkenness – to being out all the time – and to an appetite that never seems to be satisfied, no matter how much he gets. These sins are at work – and lead to a “woe” statement God makes about them.
Before I proceed to the “WOE” that is given I must comment on what has just been said. We have those in our government who think our greatest problems are economic. They fear the debt ceiling, the mounting debt, the lack of jobs, the anemic economy – and see these as the problems. But to co-opt a phrase that was used several elections ago – changing it for our current scenario, “It’s our morals stupid!” Now I am not a fan of using the term, “stupid” and have only done so for the point I am about to make. The core of what God says through Habakkuk has to do with the morals of the people of Israel – not their current economic plans and packages.
We are going to have to wake up some day (the sooner the better) and grasp that our problems in America are moral ones. The economy is only a symptom of our malaise. The real problems have been moral – and have been building since the 1940’s or earlier. Really our problems have been building since before the turn of the century. But let me get back to the Habakkuk passage. The “WOE” that is given here is part of a song that is sung taunting this nation. The song, believe it or not, is about accumulating too much debt. The reason the debt is incurred is because the people of that nation want to make themselves rich with their loans. The problem that is presented is that one day, their debt will no longer be sustainable. Then their creditors will rise up suddenly and make their nation plunder. Then, on the back end of this song, we also learn that another reason God is bringing this down upon them is because they have filled their own land with violence and bloodshed.
You see, our problem is not the debt – the debt is only a glaring symptom that is supposed to point us to the disease. The disease is pride, greed, a lack of self-control, a desire for excess, violence, and bloodshed. There is one thing I’ve not mentioned – even though it was mentioned in the passage. That is that they no longer live by their faith. Their faith is history – and instead their society now lives as a monument to consumption! The lack of any kind of moral fiber in the nation at large has led to this. They learned to live for their wants – their desires – and spent every penny they had and did not have to try to fulfill them. In the end, they were left still wanting – wanting more – and going in debt further to get more. But there were other problems – which were that they were also shedding blood in the process of living for themselves and their lusts.
Let me comment very plainly on all this – and how Habakkuk speaks to the United States of America in our current situation. I know that what I am about to say will really upset some Republicans, fiscal conservatives, and Tea Party members. It really does not matter what financial plan is decided upon by our government leaders – because God is going to judge our nation for reasons other than an insufficient number of Republicans or Tea Party members in our government. By its policies and practices the United States of America has embraced grossly immoral positions. That is what God ultimately is dealing with – and it is those kinds of grossly immoral positions that have led us to the precipice today.
Early this century, our society began to embrace sexual immorality. The flappers of the 1920’s shocked society – followed by more immorality through the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s – which was mostly hidden from the public. In the 1960’s what was hidden by one generation was openly embraced by the next. Their open immorality led to the growing experimentation with homosexuality in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s this perversion came out of the closet – and began to assert itself so that now – it is pretty much accepted as mainstream – and has even been legislated as normal by a growing number of states. God, sees such things this way – sex outside of marriage is fornication. Sex outside of marriage vows is adultery. Sex with the same sex is an abomination. What is truly sad is that these issues really aren’t even being debated much any more. The mainstream political agenda has left such things behind – and has decided that moral conservatism has run its course – lost – and has been left on the ash-heap of political discourse. God, on the other hand, has not changed His views – and is going to bring us under judgment for such things.
In 1973 the infamous Roe v. Wade decision was made – and it became open season on unborn babies. Since that “Hitleresque” decision we’ve killed over 40 million babies. I say Hitleresque, because we’ve actually dwarfed that man’s genocide by over tripling the number of deaths we’re guilty of as a nation. Hitler did not do his genocide openly – but tried to hide it. Ours is done openly – legally – and at quite a profit to those who run the abortion clinics. But God sees it as the spilling of innocent blood. He sees it as violence of the worst order. We cringe at Hitler’s ovens, showers, and mass graves – yet we continue to burn babies alive in their mother’s wombs, chop them to pieces and vacuum them out, or just let them grow to full term and execute them by sucking their brains out of their heads. Yes, I know what I just wrote is shocking – and many in the Christian community may even criticize me for writing it. Problem is – they will not speak with the same passion about stopping it!
I will make a prediction for our country. I hate to make it – because I love the United States of America. But unless we turn morally – it matters little what is done about the debt ceiling or the debt. Our problem is that we’ve left God as a nation. We are arrogant and do not grieve over sin. We don’t pray. We don’t weep over the wound of our people – a wound that may be incurable. We debate what GOP Senators and Representatives should be on the “super-congress,” horrified about whether they will support higher taxes or not. What we should debate is how to get the anemic church of God on her knees to avert judgment that is coming because of the millions of gallons of innocent blood that have been spilled on our land. How can we get ourselves first, then the true church in America to repent and fall on her knees? That is the ONLY issue that matters in this hour. God’s discipline for our nation has far more to do with a sinful church, a moral bankruptcy, and a lack of any spiritual urgency than it does any kind of debt or deficit deal. If you want to know the truth – God is far more concerned with a brokenness deficit among his people – than any monetary deficit in Washington. Until we are moved to action and concern about that issue – it matters little what we do about any other.